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SPORTS UPDATE

Ancelotti banks on Benzema versus PSG

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful that Karim Benzema will be fit to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The France international missed out against Granada last weekend due to a muscular problem, and he will also be absent against Villarreal in Spain’s top flight on Saturday.

Various reports had claimed that the centre-forward was losing his battle to be fit for the first leg of the last-16 Champions League clash with the French giants.

However, Ancelotti said it is “looking positive” for the 34-year-old, who is expected to train alongside his teammates on Sunday or Monday with a view to being available to take on PSG.

“It’s looking positive, he’s been working apart. We will make a decision on Sunday or Monday, when he is expected to train with the squad. I can’t really say much more until then but the sensations – his, mine and the doctors’ are positive,” Ancelotti told reporters on Friday.

“As we’ve always said, the player’s health comes before everything else. So there is no risk. If Karim is able to play, he will play without any risk. If there is the slightest risk, then he won’t play.

“We have to assess it thoroughly, we have four days to do that. If Karim plays Tiesday’s game, it’s because there is no risk of him falling injured.”

Benzema has been in impressive form for Los Blancos during the 2021-22 campaign, scoring 24 goals and registering nine assists in 28 appearances in all competitions.

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